Kevin Seah — tailor and founder of Kevin Seah Bespoke — shares with us what he thinks his relationship with time is, and also how his craft has shaped his views towards time.
What is an interesting analogy that could be used to illustrate the relationship you have with time?
“Time waits for no man”. Keep learning. Keep on moving forward. Keep creating. Always keep an open mind towards new ideas, especially in the Internet age when we are constantly bombarded with news and information. Running a business requires quick thinking and immediate action at times. At 44 years old, I’m really feeling time is passing by very fast as the days go by.
Is there a ‘prime time’ for a tailor like yourself?
There’s never a prime time. Everyday is a learning process. Everyone I meet teaches me something new, be it an exchange of information or sharing stories.
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Describe yourself using a timepiece.
I’m like a complicated tourbillon because I’m always multitasking!
Automatic, manual or quartz?
Manual. I love winding up my watch to remind me that time does stand still!
What is your favourite era in watchmaking?
I really love the 1920s to ’30s – the Art Deco period – especially the elegance of fashion during that era, and the emergence of new styles in music, especially jazz. I also love decorative arts and architecture, which are key inspirations for Art Deco. The Cartier and Rolex watches from that era are among the most beautiful in my opinion.
What is your favourite watch complication?
I love the moon phase complication for the beauty of being able to see the sun and the moon as art on a watch. I’m into aesthetics.
At which part of the day are you most productive?
Night-time is the most important for me. I sleep very late, usually at about 3 to 4am. I communicate with suppliers and friends in Europe for updates on new products and new ideas at night, and it’s also during then that I listen to music on my headphones, do my sourcing and look for ideas on the Internet.
Do you see any similarities between yourself and a watchmaker?
Yes. Firstly, we all rely on our hands to create. There is also the constant need to push new boundaries with new designs, and the need to pay attention to detail.
What has your profession taught you about time?
That we have to be patient to create beautiful things in life.
…something that one can only look back at.